Monday, June 30, 2008

How Green Is Your Piece?

For GBP 199, London-based Green Homes Concierge’s inspectors will come to a customer’s home, toting heat-detecting cameras and other devices to help them evaluate energy leaks, wall insulation and appliances. Afterwards, inspectors recommend ways the home’s owner can reduce CO2 emissions, and hopefully save some money in the process. Significantly, GHC’s services don’t end there. For a full year the firm will act as a helpful concierge. Should customers wish to make the inspection’s recommended improvements, GHC will help them locate contractors and suppliers able to do the work or tell them where to buy low-energy light bulbs and other environmentally friendly items. Sure, in the US and elsewhere, energy companies have long encouraged homeowners to reduce utility bills by offering counseling and rebates on fuel-efficient appliances. Also common are government tax breaks. But, sorting through the paperwork to qualify for rebates and tax breaks can be a major chore for homeowners. While start-ups modeled on GHC’s services might not benefit from the municipal subsidies available in London, the companies’ real income could come from commissions earned through contractor referrals as well as project management fees.

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